At 900, India second highest contributor to IBM US patent tally in 2019

At 900, India second highest contributor to IBM US patent tally in 2019
Photo Credit: Reuters
15 Jan, 2020

New York-headquartered technology giant IBM’s Indian employees have received 900 US patents from a total of 9,262 patents granted to the company in 2019.

This the second-highest tally from any country for IBM, right after the US, the company said in a statement. 

IBM has won the highest number of patents in 2019, according to IFI Claims, a website that tracks all patent activity in the US.  The second company on the list is Seoul-based technology major Samsung Electronics with 6469 patents. 

The Big Blue said that all the patents were received by a diverse group of more than 8,500 IBM inventors from the US and 54 other countries.  

Some of the interesting patents won by IBM India include information transfer via eye contact, tracking of benefits and costs of IT infrastructure and automation and validation claims in multi-processor computing environments. 

However, India has a long way to go in terms of patent grants. According to a report from the trade body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies), IT firms in the country filed a little over 4,600 patents in the US between 2015 and 2018.  Image processing, AI (artificial intelligence and cybersecurity were among the key focus areas for these firms, the report, ‘Emerging Technologies: Leading the next wave of IP creation for India,' from April 2019 showed.

The country spent 0.7% of GDP (gross domestic product)  on research and development in 2016-17. This is in contrast to China, Japan and US  which spent 2.1%, 3.2% and 2.8% in research during the same period, according to data from OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.)

Also, the total number of patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark office was 3,33,530 for 2019 alone, so India’s tally of 4,600 US patents between 2015 and 2018  is dismal, considering the country’s 1.3 billion population.  

In 2019, IBM received more than 1,800 patents in AI and over 2,500 patents in cloud technology. 

The company also has the highest number of blockchain patents, with most of them addressing the security aspects of the technology. 

It has cemented its position in the area of homomorphic encryption, which is a type of technology that allows users to operate on encrypted data without having to decrypt it first. IBM was granted a patent that developed a signature-based approach for homomorphic message encoding functions that will help ensure the authenticity of the data.